The Inclusive Cities Barometer for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, which analyses the performance of 46 cities in four dimensions of inclusion (economic, social, spatial, and environmental), places Lisbon in the urban centres that are “social drivers”, a concept that covers cities with strong rates of social inclusion, but which have not yet reached full maturity in reducing inequality.

Speaking to Lusa, Ana Luísa Cabrita, from the real estate services consultancy Cushman&Wakefield, responsible for the analysis, emphasises that this is not a 'ranking', but a barometer. “There is no better or worse, cities are categorised according to their maturity”, explains the director of sustainability and ESG services at the consultancy in Portugal.

Lisbon appears among “very developed cities”, at the same level as Barcelona and Madrid, which are “immediately below the most mature”, where cities from countries such as Denmark, Scotland, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden stand out.

Lisbon is the only Portuguese city analysed in the barometer, with strengths such as high levels of security and low crime, as well as the inclusion of other cultures, revealing itself to be a “very friendly and open” city, marked by “high acceptance LGBTQ+ of [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other people] and (im)migrants”.


At the same time, Lisbon is seen as a very attractive city for tourism. “In Lisbon, we have been witnessing a major renovation of the urban fabric, a recovery of old buildings, the protected heritage that has been recovered, many more museums and we have also been witnessing a redirection towards the river since Expo98”, notes Ana Luísa Cabrita.

On weak points, Lisbon has low wages, a small-scale economy, and an aging population.

Lisbon is “very well classified”, says Ana Luísa Cabrita, recognising that “there is a lot of room” for improvement. “I am 100% in agreement that an inclusive city is not just for luxury or upper middle-class housing, it has to be a city for all social levels and for all conditions as people”, she highlights.

The consultancy Cushman&Wakefield – which employs around 52 thousand people in 60 countries – wanted to create this barometer, “a pioneer in the sector”, and also to hold the real estate sector responsible for building more inclusive cities, economically, socially, spatially, and environmentally.

The barometer offers “a guide to do better”, knowing that the real estate sector has “a strong influence on the decision-making process when constructing a new building or a new area”, highlights Ana Luísa Cabrita, considering that responding to the needs of space users “can never just be seen from a capital perspective, it has to be seen from the perspective of value generation”.